Thursday, August 16, 2012

Greenest City, Really? --- Day 222

Walk: Corte Madera, Mindful Body
Distance: 2 miles and 1 hour private practice

Several times recently I've heard Portland, Oregon call itself "America's Greenest City."  Since the 'rules' for our garbage collection have been enough to stump many highly educated and successful people for at least six years, and many of my students and younger acquaintances work in established but also innovative companies, I have to question Portland's self-proclamation.  I also want to put in a word about the realities of life and people in the Bay Area. There are any number of San Francisco jokes about fruits, nuts, sliding off into the ocean, etc., and in some ways these serve us because maybe they keep incompatible people from moving here.  But Portland's proclamation reminds me that there are many, many people who take these jokes as truth, write off the Bay Area/just dismiss it out of hand, and have absolutely no idea the high quality of life out here. 

By high quality I mean High Standards - across the board, in every field including all the green fields.  And by high quality I mean having things instituted - trash recycling, handicap accessibility standards, earthquake retrofit, solar power/energy, and way too many other things to enumerate - decades ahead of most areas of the world.  Including Portland.

We're not perfect in the Bay Area, but there are reasons that the young, educated, innovative, idealistic, athletic, visionary, artistic come to the Bay Area in droves and then work/innovate like mad to be able to stay.  One reason is greenness.  I'm sure Portland gets an A for Effort in things like  DIY sustainable food sources, microbreweries, container gardening, cheese making, beekeeping and chicken keeping. But guess what, all these things and more are alive and well in San Francisco.

Just googled the Greenest Cities and find the Huffington Post Travel blog lists the top 5 as 1. Copenhagen, 2. Melbourne, 3. Reykjavik, 4. San Francisco, 5. Vancouver.  There are many of these lists, and  -- tah dah! -- San Francisco is on all of them.  Guess I'll conclude my rant with that. 

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